Ohio Panel OKs Deal On Money For Racetrack CIties

Under the deal, cities would get $1 million each for two years,(Photo: .)
Under the deal, cities would get $1 million each for two years,(Photo: .)

An Ohio legislative committee has approved a compromise that boosts the budgets of cities with racetracks featuring new slots-like video lottery machines.

The agreement by the negotiating panel frees up a wide-ranging gambling bill for possible passage Thursday by the Ohio House and state Senate.

Lawmakers had disagreed over whether the host cities of so-called racinos should get additional state funds. Opponents contend the facilities will add to city coffers through property taxes, while supporters argue cities could use the money for additional law enforcement and other needs.

Under the deal, cities would get $1 million each for two years, and possibly $500,000 annually later. The compromise excludes Columbus, which has a racetrack and a separate casino.

Panelists said rules on charity card rooms would be debated in separate legislation.

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